Adidas Ditches ‘Slave Symbol Shoe’ Plans
Interesting turn of events here as Adidas defends the shoe design but decided to cancel plans to make it anyway
12:18pm UK, Tuesday June 19, 2012
Adidas has cancelled plans to make a shoe with a shackle-like ankle cuff after critics said it resembled a symbol of slavery.
The sportswear company tried to generate a buzz around the $350 (£223) trainers by posting a photo on its Facebook page.
“Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” a caption read.
Named the JS Roundhouse Mid and made in collaboration with the fashion designer Jeremy Scott, the high-top shoe has an orange plastic cuff that goes around each ankle.
The photo has generated nearly 3,500 comments on the social networking site with many complaining that the design is offensive to descendants of slaves.
A user named Kay Tee wrote: “How would a Jewish person feel if Nike decided to have a shoe with a swastika on it and tried to claim it was OK in the name of fashion?”
However, others said there was nothing wrong with the shoes and that the issue had been blown out of proportion.
In a statement, Adidas said the shoe “is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery”.
“Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favourable and critical feedback. We apologise if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”
Scott is known as one of fashion’s more outrageous characters. Adidas said he is heralded for a style that is “quirky and lighthearted”.
The Roundhouse Mid was inspired by a furry toy called My Pet Monster. “My work has always been inspired by cartoons, toys and my childhood,” Scott said in a statement.
Previous collaborations between Scott and Adidas include trainers with Mickey Mouse and panda themes.